An Interview with Special Agent Beatrice Alexander
By Jennifer Harlow
Through some of my Pentagon contacts (thanks Daddy and Uncle George W.) I was given exclusive access to the clandestine branch of the FBI known as the F.R.E.A.K.S. or Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. Their newest agent, former schoolteacher and telekinetic Beatrice Alexander, agreed to meet with me under the cover of night at a coffee shop somewhere in the Midwest. (It rhymes with “Ansas”)
So, thanks for agreeing to do this.
BA: It’s okay. <rolling eyes>
I understand you just got back from your first case in Colorado. Killing zombies must be a far cry from finger-painting with fourth graders.
BA: Totally. Though about the same amount of biting involved.
What made you decide to make such a drastic career change?
BA: I, uh, <clears throat>
Have you always been telekinetic?
BA: Ever since I was a kid. My mom’s boyfriend was about to hit her, so I sent a plate across the room flying right into his head. There were…other incidents too, but I don’t want to talk about them if you don’t mind. <a pause> I don’t really like talking about what I can do full stop. Sorry. For years only three people ever knew, my brother, Nana, and friend April. She only found out because my first and only sleepover her stuffed animals were dancing in the air. She thought it was cool.
Most people would love to have your gift.
BA: Then they’re morons. Would they love to wake up and find their bed levitating? Getting angry and almost killing someone without lifting a finger? Knowing that if you tell someone what you can do they’ll run for the hills? Being called a freak, an aberration? <scoff>
Did you know that there were others out there like you before you joined? Others with gifts?
BA: No. God, no. If you came to me three months ago and told me Dracula and the wolfman were alive and sharing a house, I’d have called you nuts. Like everyone else I thought they were all made up. Now I have a werewolf living across the hall and a vampire in the basement, among others.
Who else is in the Squad?
BA: There’s Carl, he touches things and knows all about their history. Uh, Andrew is a medium, Irie a pyrokinetic, and Nancy can teleport. She’s not big on privacy and locked doors. <a private smile; turning red>
Was it hard joining such a tight knit group?
BA: Well, I moved around a lot as a kid, so I’m used to being the new girl, but still. Yeah. We had some growing pains, to say the least, but…we stopped the necromancer and all the zombies. Together. I think they’re warming to me. At least I hope they are. Time will tell. <face falling>
When I turned to see what had gotten her so annoyed, my jaw dropped. Sauntering into the shop was the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen. The picture I viewed did not do him justice. I recognized him from my dossier as Oliver Montrose, another F.R.E.A.K. A vampire one. He slid into the booth right next to Beatrice but flashed me a smile that scrambled my brain. Thank God I had the tape recorder still running.
OM: Well, well, well, what do we have here? Who is your new, delectable friend here, Trixie?
BA: Oh, leave her alone! Now you’re just being childish. We’re trying to do an interview here. Go away.
OM: <cocking an eyebrow>
BA: <mouth dropping open>
OM: What, tell Will? <to me>
BA: He’s exaggerating.
OM: No…I am not. She was magnificent. Truly.
Their eyes met, almost cooling her anger, replacing it with nervousness. She looked away.
BA: Just go away, okay. Please?
He stared at her face for a moment, almost sad to see she was serious. He rose.
OM: As you wish, my dear. See you at home.
He walked out of the café, and she shook her head.
BA: I am so sorry about that. Sometimes he’s really great and sometimes he’s…that.
It’s alright. So, how did you save his life?
BA: He’s exaggerating. He, um, the necromancer did something to him and he attacked me. Will wanted to stake him, but I wouldn’t let him. It wasn’t his fault. And as you can see he’s fine now. Relatively speaking.
Did this cause a problem with you and your team leader?
BA: Um, no, We’re fine now. Great. He’s actually, um, teaching me some more martial arts. <turning red again>
So far what do you like best about the job? Besides your team leader.
BA: Well, I really liked the whole investigation part of it. Interviewing people, finding clues, getting to the truth. I love mystery novels and now it’s like my life has become one. <sweet smile>
So all in all are you happy with your choice to join the F.R.E.A.K.S.? No regrets?
Her cell phone rang. As she listened to the other end, she grew grave before standing up.
BA: I’m so sorry. There’s a golem on the loose in New Jersey, I have to go. Nice meeting you.
She ran out the door off to face another monster. I for one feel safer knowing she’s out there.
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
Mind Over Monsters
By Jennifer Harlow
Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut.
Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and
other monsters threatening humanity.
Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.
About the Author:
Jennifer Harlow earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She has been a bookseller, radio DJ, lab assistant, and government investigator. She lives in Northern Virginia and is hard at work on her next book.
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.
Jennifer is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Sisters in Crime.
To find out more about Jennifer visit her at:
The Buzz for Mind Over Monsters
“Monstrously fun! Monstrously suspenseful! Monstrously good!” -Victoria Laurie
“Harlow has written a gritty, dramatic police procedural with a compelling heroine and fascinating group of sidekicks.” -Karen Chance
“Harlow offers treats for every paranormal lover to relish, with plenty or thrills, action, and laughter.”
-Leanna Renee Hieber
“Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun.” –Kat Richardson
5 copies of Mind Over Monsters are being given away tour wide
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